Local Hero Awards recognize public health contributions and contributors April 3

The City’s celebration of National Public Health Week this year will include honoring the contributions of community partners in strengthening the health of our city. This year’s theme for National Public Health Week is “ROI (Return on Investment): Save Lives, Save Money.” Minneapolis will hold an event to celebrate on Wednesday, April 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the City Hall Rotunda at 350 S. 5th St. Visitors to the event can meet staff from the Minneapolis Health Department, visit interactive displays from the department’s health divisions, programs, and initiatives, and enjoy light refreshments. 

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the department will honor the outstanding contributions of seven community partners, individuals, or organizations which help to strengthen the public health of our city. These Local Heroes exemplify one of the themes of National Public Health Week: A Safe, Healthy Home for You and Your Family; A Safe, Healthy Environment for Children at School; A Safe Environment While on the Move; and A Healthy Community.

Local Hero awards will be presented to:

Sandy Lien – MEDICA for her efforts at alerting families to upcoming lead events in their neighborhood. She coordinates Medica screening vouchers for low-income families and contributes to the City’s lead screening, outreach, and recruitment efforts. She also aids in identifying children with asthma living in section 8 housing.  Her spirit of partnership contributes to providing A Safe, Healthy Home for You & Your Family.   

Amy Libman and Gwen Neumeister – Minnesota Internship Center (MNIC) Charter School for their tireless efforts to improve the health of the students through innovative features such as school gardens, hoop houses, and an aquaponic system.  They also invested in extra staff through Americorps, college interns, and College Health Corps VISTAs to coordinate health programming and education. Their leadership for MNIC students provides A Safe, Healthy Environment for Children at School.  

Loring Community School (staff, students, and families) for its strong commitment to wellness demonstrated through: an exemplary school garden, Kids Cook Classroom, offering extra sessions of physical education, promoting school-wide bike and walk to school days and more.  Their efforts provide A Safe, Healthy Environment for Children at School. 

Lucy Laney Community School (staff, students, and families) for promoting active living through their Safe Routes to School, International Walk to School Day, walking club, staff-led Walking School Buses, a shared bike fleet (with Nellie Stone Johnson & Loring Community School), and after school bike club.  These efforts, guided by the school Wellness Committee and championed by Middle School Administrator Lisa Pawelak and School Nurse Jessica Findell, create A Safe, Healthy Environment for Children at School. 

Minneapolis Youth Congress for providing a powerful example of civic engagement by youth to create a positive change. Through their partnership with Metro Transit, MYC members collected data for youth friendly transportation, and created a video to assist new riders, bus drivers, and parents of young riders as the Minneapolis Public Schools transitioned to GoTo passes for 2012-13 school year. Their presence and active participation create A Safe Environment While on the Move. 

Matthew Hendricks – Twin Cities Greenway for dedication to the vision and work of Twin Cities Greenways—a network of greenway-quality trails that would serve as a backbone for non-motorized transportation. Matthew served on the project steering committee, assisted with community meetings, and regularly provided input, feedback, and ideas for the project. His energy and persistence helps promote A Safe Environment While on the Move for the north Minneapolis greenway. 

Saadoun Alkhiqany, Owner – Roger’s Market for his strong engagement with and participation in the Minneapolis Healthy Corner Store Program. His openness to changes in business practices to increase the amount of fresh produce available in his store demonstrates his commitment to helping the Glenwood neighborhood of north Minneapolis become A Healthy Community.

Visit the Minneapolis Health Department website for more information about its services and programs. For more information on National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org.

Published Mar 26, 2013



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